Nursing is not for the faint of heart. From long shifts to late hours to large patient loads, a career in nursing can be mentally and physically taxing. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2019, approximately one-third of nurses showed signs of burnout. After the COVID-19 pandemic, that number jumped to 62 percent. Not only does burnout take nurses out of their jobs mentally, but it can also lead to a higher potential for workplace injuries.
If you’ve suffered a common nurse injury, it’s tempting to try to tough it out and continue caring for patients. However, you need to get the medical help and compensation necessary for you to recover. You shouldn’t excuse poor working conditions, a lack of training or negligent supervision while performing your nursing duties.
If you think you’ve suffered an injury on the job but aren’t sure if it was related to your work, please stay here to learn more about common nurse injuries, filing an injury report to your supervisor and what you should do if your claim is denied.
Whether you’ve just started your career or are several decades of service deep, you know nurses face several occupational risks every day. In the “Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses-2021” report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private healthcare and social assistance workers had the highest number of total nonfatal injuries and illnesses from 2019-2021.
Injuries and illness are apparent in healthcare, but what are some of the most common injuries sustained by individuals in this sector?
Note: These are not ranked in order of prevalence or severity.
Since the back is at the core of every motion we make in our daily lives, it is susceptible to injury in a fast-paced work environment like nursing. In a BLS report covering injuries amongst registered nurses, overexertion injuries to the back were common. Many of these injuries resulted from moving patients and/or heavy equipment.
Since most nurses work in a hospital setting, exposure to dangerous substances and diseases is commonplace. In a BLS report, nurses led the nation in the number of exposures to dangerous disease incidents due to the prevalence of COVID-19. Even when you use all recommended personal protection equipment and follow all mandates, you are still at risk of contracting a disease from a patient.
Lower leg injuries can occur in a similar manner as back injuries. Nurses are on their feet constantly and rely on their legs and back to move patients and efficiently perform routine tasks. Some studies have shown that nurses may walk anywhere from three to four miles a day on the job. Repetitive motion and long hours on your legs can strain the muscle groups, resulting in a musculoskeletal injury or disorder.
Unfortunately, nurses are put into difficult situations whenever they help patients and can be assaulted. When patients violently lash out, their nurses are the most likely point of contact. This puts nurses in a dangerous situation. According to the American Nurses Association, one in four nurses are assaulted at some point during their career. This is never okay and shouldn’t be shrugged off. Sadly, only an estimated 20-60% of incidents are reported. You are put in a challenging spot as a nurse, but reporting workplace violence is essential to maintaining your health and the safety of other nurses.
Many nurses, especially those in a hospital setting, must cover a large amount of ground each day. Since they are required to walk great distances to fulfill their obligations during their shifts, they are more likely to suffer a fall, slip or trip due to the negligence of another employee or supervisor. This injury grouping is especially prevalent among nurses who are 45 or older.
If you’ve been injured on the job as a nurse, it’s essential to tell your supervisor as soon as possible. Failure to report your nurse injury within 30 days can lead to an inability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your supervisor should provide the necessary paperwork for your injury report. If not, The Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations states that you need to submit a written notice that includes:
If you’ve filed a report and been denied, you shouldn’t have to suffer through your injury alone. The team at Eng & Woods Attorneys at Law can go over your options and the next steps you can take to get the compensation you deserve. Our team has helped countless clients receive favorable verdicts and settlements. You can visit our contact page today to get in touch with our team to see if we’re the right match for your case.